In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.
Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.
Mantel presents a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell and life under Henry the VIII in vivid and original, yet historically accurate detail. Each vignette is so well drawn, entertaining and informative that even though I have largely forgotten my English history, and am bewildered by the intricacies of royal intrigues, I was totally transported. Winner of the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2009, this may be the best historical fiction I have ever read. ~ Mary
I adored this book. Mantel re-imagines the Henry VIII saga from a fresh perspective - Cromwells. And its actually compassionate! Not to be missed. ~ Tanya
“In Wolf Hall, Mantel offers a new view of the reign of Henry VIII: from inside the head of Thomas Cromwell, as he ponders ways to increase the size of Henry's exchequer and aid the king's efforts to get Anne Boleyn into his bed through the sanctity of marriage. Mantel exposes Cromwell's thoughts as he frets over his family, his friends, even his enemies. A brilliant novel that encapsulates the Tudor era in the lushest of evocative prose.”
-Kathy Ashton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
About the AuthorView
Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, "Wolf Hall", and its sequel, "Bring Up the Bodies" an unprecedented achievement. The Royal Shakespeare Company recently adapted "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies" for the stage to colossal critical acclaim and a BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaption of the novels will broadcast in 2015.
The author of fourteen books, she is currently at work on the third installment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.
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